The description of moisture content in soils during soil profiling generally follows the scale devised by Jennings et al. Another guide, published as part of the Engineering Group Working Party Report on Tropical Residual Soils, provides some diagnostic characteristics for determining soil moisture categories. However, neither of these systems is fully satisfactory since much is left to subjective judgement. This Technical Note describes a more comprehensive method of description which includes diagnostic characteristics such as stickiness, dustiness, resistance to moulding, strength changes and colour changes and which also clarifies the relation of the terms to the optimum moisture content. This guidance should assist in making the field description of moisture content in soils less subjective.